On the evening of February 28, a restaurant boat carrying more than 100 people sank in the Tigris River in central Baghdad.
Sources are reporting conflicting numbers of casualties, but it appears that at least five people died as a result of the tragedy and several others are missing. The vessel, which belonged to a popular Lebanese restaurant, was carrying 150 passengers who were partaking in a private dinner party, says international news site GlobalPost. Most of the people on the vessel were Iraqis and the party was for Caterpillar, the U.S. heavy equipment manufacturer.
According to The Associated Press, the boat was moored when the incident occurred, and police said that there were visible signs of decay on the metal joints that kept it attached to the shore. Still, it is unclear at the moment what caused the ship to sink. One woman, whose husband was on the boat, expressed relief to the GlobalPost that her husband survived the ordeal, adding that she thinks the owners are responsible for allowing such a large amount of people aboard it.
"I am 100 percent sure that it was just an accident," said Baghdad provincial council member Mohammed Jassem al-Rubaie.
It's important for commercial and recreational boat owners to be aware of the risks they face when they bring their vessels out on the water and take any safety precautions they can to prevent this kind of tragedy from occurring. Additionally, it's a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality. One way you can do this is by working with a marine insurance agency that can help you find the best rates and ensure that you are covered in the case of a maritime accident.